Israel set for a general election after Naftali Bennett-led ruling coalition dissolves parliament

Israel set for a general election after Naftali Bennett-led ruling coalition dissolves parliament

Israel’s weakened coalition government has decided to dissolve parliament and call a new election, the country’s fifth in three years.

The vote, expected in Israel’s autumn, could bring about the return of a nationalist religious government led by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu or another prolonged period of political gridlock.

Israel’s previous four elections focused on Mr Netanyahu’s fitness to rule while he was on trial for corruption charges. They ended in deadlock.

In a nationally televised news conference, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said it was not easy to disband the government, but he called it “the right decision for Israel”.

The fragile coalition government—which includes parties from across the political spectrum—lost its majority earlier this year and has faced rebellions from different lawmakers in recent weeks.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will take over from Mr Bennett on an interim basis in an agreement they announced together.

Naftali Bennett speaks during a joint statement with Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid will take over from Naftali Bennett on an interim basis.(AP: Maya Alleruzzo)

Mr Bennett listed a series of accomplishments and promised an “orderly” transition.

Mr Lapid thanked Mr Bennett for putting the country ahead of his personal interests.

Mr Bennett formed the eight-party coalition in June 2021 after four successive inconclusive elections.

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